Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Be responsible

The low pressure area is predicted to continue to approach the country, near Mindanao, on Wednesday and move toward central and northern Luzon by Friday.

That particular image was shot at around 7 am today, September 29. That means it's just around 15 minutes ago.

Bad news is that there's a low pressure area approaching Philippine territory that could potentially develop into a storm. I believe we have not fully recovered with Ondoy yet and having this new LPA around just makes relief operations worse. Actually when I saw CNN's footage yesterday, there were 2 LPAs. But let's not all be nega, potential good news is that it could be whiffed off to some deserted island somewhere or it could just plainly disappear or PAGASA's forecast just remains a forecast.

Yeah most people are mad at PAGASA. Some say they've lost their credibility, but it's better to prepare for the worst. If PAGASA forecasts a downpour especially in areas where you live, act on it. Don't wait to learn if it's true or not. I'd rather have false alarms based on calculated forecasts than no forecasts at all.

One thing is for sure, let's all be prepared.

1. Collect Emergency numbers:
These are your life supports just in case you might need assistance in tight situations. Store them in your phones and always keep a print out.

NDCC (Natl Disaster Coordinating Council) - 912-5668, 911-1406, 912-2665, 911-5061. Help hotlines: 734-2118, 734-2120
Phil. Natl Red Cross - 527-0000
Your neighbors' phone numbers
Your Baranggay Office's number or Village emergency group
Your municipality's phone number
Hospital emergency number
Fire Department
Police Department
ABS-CBN / GMA (Media Helps)
Office Emergency numbers (Your organizations may have the capability to organize a rescue operation of their employees)

2. Secure documents in and preferably "water proof" places/safe.

3. Assess the strength of your house. Fix what needs to be fixed. If your street is bound to be flooded, coordinate with some relatives or friends with safer zones on where to park your cars. I offered Mitch our space to park their cars in case a storm hits again. Their street area is low and prone to floods.

4. Have an evacuation plan in mind just in case something comes up, you know where to go and how to get there.

5. If you have PETS, plan an evacuation site for them. Don't just leave them around. These have lives too. (This breaks my heart, I know some who have lost their pets from Ondoy floods).

6. Have a disaster supply kit. STOCK up on the ff:

Water - 1 gallon daily for one week or 7 days
Non-Perishable goods - good for at least a week
*canned goods
*instant noodles
*cooking tools/fuel
*packed juices
*food for kids
*finger/snack foods with long shelter life
*paper plates / plastic utensils
Blankets / Pillows
*rubber shoes
Special Kit
*for elderly/babies
*Medicine for fever, headaches, LBM and pain killers
*Alcohol, antiseptic, bandage
*anti-itch lotion, anti mosquito bites
*toothbrush / toothpaste
*wet ones
*Cellphone chargers
Cash / Credit Cards
Pet Supplies
*Named leash
*Pet food, water, dish


8. Be charitable. If you feel someone needs help, assess your situation and then reach out.

9. Secure your cars. Remember, STORMS/QUAKES are "natural disasters" most if not all insurance companies DO NOT cover this.

10. Pray. Then help others.

We've seen what ONDOY did to this country. I just hope we all know now what to do if ever there is a "next time." Let's not blame and be negative about the shortcomings of others. Frankly, it wastes energy and time. Let's just be overwhelmed by the fact that a lot of unexpected good samaritans have stepped up and some are continuously supporting the relief operations for the past few days.

Let's just all be responsible. Responsible for ourselves. Responsible for others.

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